Images of a young girl adorned in a flower print dress sit next to daisies and roses – her favorite flowers. Elsewhere, photos of that same girl show her lovingly tapping her father on the head and celebrating Eid, the end of Ramadan.
One of the last photos taken of three-year-old Ruya Kadir shows her beaming in a white and black beaded dress and a regal, feathered crown – a princess surrounded by fellow Disney royalty tacked to the wall behind her.
Friends and family described Ruya as a bright girl who loved Disney princesses and riding her bicycle. Her family said she was a happy and empathetic girl who could sense other people’s emotions.
Ruya’s eyes sparkled as she celebrated her birthday last Saturday, just before she was stabbed in a brutal attack that’s shocked the conscience of Boise. She was flown to a Salt Lake City hospital where she later died of her injuries.
Eight others, including five children were stabbed in the attack. Thirty-year-old Timmy Kinner faces a first-degree murder charge and several felonies in connection with the crime.
Hundreds of people wearing her favorite bright colors, pink and purple, mourned Ruya's death Saturday at the Boise Center. Her family held a private funeral at the Islamic Center of Boise Saturday afternoon.
Her mother, Bifituu Kadir, is from Ethiopia and her father, Recep Seran, is from Turkey. The parents had a family friend address the crowd on their behalf.
“She was my everything, She was my world and if no one stopped me I could talk forever about my Ruya,” Kadir said.
“Ruya was our gift from God, but God wanted Ruya with him,” said Seran.
Seran had been awaiting a visa in Turkey to join his family in Boise after they moved here two years ago. He last saw his daughter in person when she was just four months old, but they had talked by phone and video often over the past two years.
Seran’s visa was quickly approved through the efforts of the International Rescue Committee and most of Idaho’s congressional delegation, according to Julianne Donnelly Tzul, executive director of IRC’s Boise office.
“We had people all through our network moving heaven and earth to get him here,” said Tzul.
She specifically thanked the offices of Rep. Mike Simpson and Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch for helping expedite the process. When asked if Rep. Raul Labrador was involved, she declined to comment. Requests for comment from Labrador’s office weren’t immediately returned.
Boise Police Chief Bill Bones says he never had the chance to meet Ruya, but that in her death she “has planted the seeds of possibility.”
“She has kindled the light in thousands of souls across this world – a light of hope for a better tomorrow and the unity of people from so many different lives,” Bones said.
Last week, the city’s fire department helped plant a garden in memory of Ruya at the Wylie Street Station Apartments where her family lives.
Two of the children who were injured in the attack have been released from the hospital. Tzul says the others are still recovering.
She told the Associated Press “…there are slashes to faces requiring surgery and reconstructive surgery. There is at least one spinal injury that might cause paralysis to some degree, and lots of stab and puncture wounds.”
Ruya’s mother says her daughter will live on in the community as long as there are those in Boise who remember her.
“Her name in Turkish means ‘dream’ and she came to us like a dream and she left as quickly as a dream.”
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